The need for calcium is 50% greater during pregnancy
(so pregnancy preparation is a good time to start boosting up) on about 1,000 mg of calcium per day. If you don’t have enough calcium, your body will pull it from your bones, and since the minerals in the body are in a delicate, dynamic balance, if a deficiency in calcium exists, other minerals may also be out of balance.
Easily assimilated, calcium-rich foods include:
arugula, dried seaweeds (wakame, kombu, kelp, hijiki, arame), beans (soybeans, mung, aduki, black, lima), whole grains (buckwheat, millet, wheat berries, corn, barley, rye rice), nuts and seeds (almonds, cashews, filberts, sesame seeds), high-chlorophyll foods (wheat or barley grass, spirulina, blue-green algae, chlorella), high quality chocolate (70% cacao content), sardines, parsley, turnip greens, watercress, kale, quinoa, yogurt, collard greens, tofu, salmon, halibut, chicken, mackerel, dried prunes and dried figs, and pumpkin.
Note: Some sea vegetables provide 10 times more calcium tha cow’s milk!
Calcium Inhibitors Include:
Coffee, refined sugar, soft drinks, diuretics, alcohol, excessive protein, cigarettes, too little or too much exercise (moderate exercise prevents calcium loss, but excessive physical activity has been shown to cause calcium loss), excess salt, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and bell peppers (these vegetables contain the calcium inhibitor solanine).
Here's an easy, calcium-rich Fall recipe:
Quinoa Acorn Squash Bowl
Cook 1 cup of quinoa in 3 cups of water by bringing to a boil and letting simmer until done (approximately 30 minutes)
Cut an acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place the halves face down on a baking pan and roast at 400 degrees Farenheit until tender (about 1 hour).
While the squash is cooking, sautee sliced organic chicken in coconut oil until browned.
Add 1 bunch chopped kale, 1 Tablespoon almonds, 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds and cook until kale is tender.
Add juice from ½ a fresh squeezed lemon and salt and pepper to taste.
Top with Integrative Fertility’s Pumpkin Seed Pesto (optional)
contributed by Caylie See, L.Ac., FABORM